2019 Bodegas Juan Gil 18 Meses Blue Label Monastrell, Jumilla, Spain (750ml)
Brilliant red in the glass. A light roasted aroma complemented by fresh berries. Savory notes of earth and black tea balanced with a rich core of black fruits. Round tannins, good acidity.
The Monastrell vineyards used to produce this wine are situated at an elevation of 2,800 feet above sea level with an average vine age of 55 years. They are situated on chalky and sandy hillside soils with excellent drainage, allowing them to ripen in optimal conditions. The production does not exceed one ton per acre. The Cabernet and Syrah vineyards are located at 2,300 feet above sea level with an average vine age of 15 years. The fermentation is carried out separately in small open tank fermenters. The wine is then aged for 18 months in new French and American oak barrels.
Dry-farmed, no pesticides or herbicides, hand-harvested, Vegan.
I also tasted the 2019 Juan Gil (blue label), the wine formerly known as 18 Months, the time it spends in barrel. They use 100% new oak that is a mixture of French and American. The wine is ripe, oaky and heady (15.5% alcohol), but I felt a change in the oak, which seemed more integrated. When I asked Miguel Gil, he told me they had changed the toast, using less toasted barrels, from medium+ to medium, and that shows in the wine. They still believe this wine should have new oak to give it aging potential. They have also introduced optical sorting of the grapes and eliminate the raisins (by shape) and the unripe grains (by color), and that adds precision and cleanliness. 30,000 bottles were produced. It was bottled in June 2021.
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 92+ pts.
Deep ruby to the eye, this wine has a bouquet of black currant and mocha. It is smooth at first sip, and then opulent tannins fill the mouth, offering a backdrop for flavors of cherry, raspberry, milk chocolate and menthol that slowly recede into a soft, minty finish.
- Wine Enthusiast, 92 pts.
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